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Customer Review

386 of 430 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not for everyone, June 24, 2013
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This review is from: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (Paperback)
I wanted to love this book but it's not for us. I think it might resonate really well with people into "attachment parenting" and think that should be mentioned in the description. It might fall short with some very strong willed children though, like mine. At least, that's what I found when I tried a few suggestions.

The positives of this book is that it does a good job of highlighting the need for the parent to calm down. There are good tips. It made an important point that other parenting books do not, such as, it's alright to take a moment (or 10!) to calm down before addressing the problem. Many other parenting books say you need to address the problem immediately so the child knows exactly why consequences are happening. It gives some good tips about knowing how your child reacts to certain situations and have the foresight to diffuse them before the problem occurs. It promotes empathy, which can only help your relationship. I found I already do a lot of empathizing with my child.

Where I have the problem is the constant "making light" of problems or trying to turn them into a game in order redirect the behavior. This might work with some kids but not mine. In one example, a child wants the parent to move from a particular spot on the couch and the parent is supposed to make fun and games with the child... but not move from the spot. That only works with my daughter to a point. She would not become distracted, she would play for a while but then become serious and reassert her laser beam focus. Another example is about spitting, instead of consequences for spitting in the house the solution was to take the child outside to make a game of spitting out there. Like, "Oh, haha, look I can spit further than you!" Yeah, I can just see myself and daughter on the front steps of our house spitting all over. I somehow don't think that highlights what a bad thing spitting is and would really give my kid the green light that it's ok. She's "strong willed" and while that example would let her know it's ok to do it outside... she would quickly push her boundaries and do it inside again.

I think this approach would probably work very well with my younger daughter who is more laid back and open to suggestion. However, I don't think it will fly with my older strong willed one.
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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 23, 2013 3:47:58 AM PDT
Inky Thumb says:
Hi Lisa,
I also have a very strong willed almost 3 year old. I love the philosophy behind this book but like you I have tried these approaches and while they have many positive benefits, they do not work with the "hard stuff," like constantly running away when it's time to change clothes. My son is simply too young to really reason with, so that doesn't work either. The threat of time outs WORKED, but I've stopped doing them per this authors suggestion.
Do you have a recommendation for a different book?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2013 8:35:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2013 8:37:07 AM PDT
Lisa says:
I have been unable to get away from time outs or "cool down" times. My kid just looses too much control to not be contained. She just turned 4yrs and seems to be going through another rough behavioral patch.

Try Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing CLEAR, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries. I love that book and am currently reading it again because it's gone into 2nd edition and been extended. Every time I read it, I'm like, "Oh, yes, that's my child." I have a review listed under the first edition (with about 200 others).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2013 11:38:16 PM PDT
H. Greenwood says:
Interesting. I find her strategies from the website work amazingly well, especially with strong willed children. Did you try the methods for a while, and decide they weren't a good fit, or just know they wouldn't work? I haven't bought the book yet, but we use her advice on ahaparenting for all our kids with amazing success (including foster kids with behavioral difficulties/attachment issues)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2013 8:27:24 AM PDT
Lisa says:
In my gut, I thought it wouldn't work but was still determined to try based on the stellar reviews. Anything was worth a try. It just doesn't work with my daughter, she needs to have very firm boundaries. I think this approach works differently for different children, as I said in the review. The techniques work really well for my youngest child who is spunky but not as strong willed as her older sister.

I recently "refreshed" my parenting skills using the "Setting Limits..." book and things are improving. I used to be a social worker (children's home) and then a middle school teacher. I think the techniques in that book are more along the lines of what I've done in those professions so maybe it just works better for me! I do think "Peaceful Parent..." has it's merits and likely works for many kids, just not my kid. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2013 10:00:49 AM PDT
Inky Thumb says:
Lisa, I just finished the "Setting Limits..." Book. Thank you immeasurably for your suggestion. I've been practicing these techniques and they ARE WORKING! I've read a lot of parenting books over the past 2.5 years, and this is the best for us. And it's obvious my son APPRECIATES these firm limits, even more than whatever it is he wants more in that brief moment. Thanks again. My husband is reading it now.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2013 11:30:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2013 11:31:52 AM PDT
Lisa says:
I'm so glad you've found a good fit Inky. :) I'm halfway through the new edition now and I can see why my daughters behavior has gotten away from us. My husband and I have been getting away from being clear. Too many threats, arguments and not following though. It made our confrontations with our daughter explosive and horrible. We're now back to one warning followed by a logical, respectful consequence. End of story... no fighting, no arguments, no debates. I try not to raise my voice (Peaceful Parent helped with that). She cries and still tantrums but they are much shorter and less frequent when she has clearly defined limits. It's so easy to slide back into old behaviors with our kids!

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 11:34:53 AM PDT
SoCalAvAZ says:
Definitely agree, this book is great to work on yourself but doesn't address the action part of discipline. Like what do I do if my child does such and such. I strongly recommend "Setting limits for your strong willed child" which is the missing link to this book. That book is all examples and really easy listen. Loved the combo of the two and so far is working for us!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2013 5:06:45 PM PDT
Leaf Lady says:
Inky Thumb, as another mother of a strong willed child, I'd like to recommend 1 2 3 Magic. Best of luck.

Posted on May 9, 2014 3:47:43 PM PDT
BC Clifton says:
Yes, take a look at "Fingerpainting in Psych Class - artfully aoplying science to better work with children and teens. It is written with the strong-willed child/teen in mind, and is really insightful.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 11:31:34 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 23, 2016 8:01:16 PM PDT]
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